Unusual Situation


#1

This scenario is an unusual one and I ask your advice:

Miss A meets Mr B. They fall in love and marry. After being married 3-4 years they separate.

13 years later Miss A regrets getting the annulment. She contacts Mr B and discovers he feels exactley the same. They both regret their marriage being annulled and believe they should have just stayed separated. Miss A and Mr B have both had children with others outside of wedlock in the meantime, but neither now has a relationship with the parents.

Miss A has never wanted to be married to anyone other than Mr B and neither of them have ever truly been able to get over their marriage ending.

Miss A and Mr B want to marry each other. However, Miss A knows of herself that she could almost certainly not live with another person, and believes Mr B could not either, that if her and he were to marry, then they would probably have to live seperately almost immediately.

However Miss A and Mr B have always felt they belong to each other and have never been able to give their love fully to anyone else. They want to be united in marriage (as they feel they once were) even if they can never live with each other.

Is it wrong to embark on a new marriage knowing or at least strongly believing beforehand that you will probably not be able to live with your spouse? Should Miss A and Mr B simply pray fro the strength to let each other go? Any comments or advice on this situation would be most appreciated.


#2

First off… this situation needs to be discussed with a priest.

Secondly… read this section of the catechism on the Sacrament of Matrimony

Particularly… this section…

1649
Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons. In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. The spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation. The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble.159

So, yes… situations like this DO exist, but I’m not sure it’s possible to go INTO marriage with that understanding…
Definitely something to discuss with a priest.

Hope that helps.


#3

does not sound as if either Ms A or Mr B have a clue about what Christian marriage really is, and until they receive an education in that sacrament as a covenant with each other and with God, wherein each leave father and mother to become one, open to all God’s gifts including new life, they are not ready for marriage to anyone.


#4

I will second the recommendation of talking with a priest.

I would also recommend some serious discernment on whether you are called to marriage. The above quote seems to be a big flag. But talking with your priest should help with the discernment process.


#5

Amen.

However, if you still feel called back together. Then you can consider buying or living in close proximity to each other. An ajoining town home or apartment with separte living quarters. You could date for life;). But I’d get an ajoining double layer door that swings both ways and a French made to really confuse things…okay forget the French made idea…she’d probably be an ogar anyway. …back to serious. I’ve live on a recliner for many years for healt issues… We need a double hospital bed…injuries and allergies from military, sports and location. I can’t sleep well with my DW and I know I keep her up…snoaring sometimes. She takes covers and so forth… I’m a clean freak that has let his hair down just to get along… And it works. So I’ve already thought about the separate living quarter thing before… It’s rather unorthodox, but humorous… Maybe you can test my idea out and report.

But first you really need to go through some serious training… Might I suggest Retrouvaille at retrouvaille.org/
I’ve considered going through it to help us communicate better.


#6

Oh…I have a knee that feels like someone is nailing a spike through it. It flares up unexpectedly in my sleep and DW and I have an ongoing joke that she hides a bat under the bed and pulls it out when she’s mad while I’m sleeping.


#7

:rotfl:
Marital bliss! :smiley:


#8

Hi ziggy–why can’t Mr A and Miss B live together? They just don’t like living with other people…I am a little confused.:blush:


#9

Miss A and Mr B should both get psychological help.

And, yes, I believe there would be serious issues regarding intent and consent were they to attempt marriage again which could very well render their marriage invalid.


#10

Well, even if we were qualified to answer this, there isn’t enough information to even know if they could marry at all, regardless of the living arrangement situation. They would definitely need to speak with a priest, and give him the information of their annulment. If their marriage was annulled that means it was never there, hence it is possible that there were some impediments that may or may not still be around. If the impediments are still around, then they cannot marry until these are removed. Also, it seems like they do not understand the sacrament of marriage that well with their wanting to not share a home after marriage. Two become one in marriage. The priest would have to find out whether they want to live apart out of selfishness, not wanting to give themselves completely to the other, only for periods of time or something. It just seems like they don’t have their ideas straight on marriage and all it entails. Em in FL quoted the catechism and living separate, but I think its important to note it says: " In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation." hence sounding like this separation would happen due to a conflict that came up and with the best solution being reconciliation, not due to the fact that the couple chooses beforehand to have a marriage where they will live apart (ie they don’t consider it a difficult situation where reconciliation would be needed, simply an arrangement they have chosen beforehand).


#11

An invalid marriage means true marriage doesn’t take place. The process in the tribunal establishes whether marriage really took place or not. Miss A and miss B didn’t have a valid marriage later made null. They were never married in the first place. They chose to split up - and yes, if you have an invalid marriage, you can convalidate it so long as the consent is still there (except when you need to contract it anew because the form was defective), so a decision to file a nullity claim is a decision not to convalidate, but it doesn’t stop a valid marriage because a valid marriage can never be invalidated.

The proper name for “annulment” is “declaration of nullity”. It better shows what happens. “Annulment” has that invincible connotation of erasing a valid marriage to make it look like it didn’t happen.

At any rate, much talking to the priest is required here. :slight_smile:


#12

Thanks for your answers.

First I should say, I’m not the Mr B mentioned, but I know Miss A and Mr B and would like to offer something along with “speak to a priest”, which is of course a must.

To eleborate slightly: I think the tribunal found that (at the time of the marriage) Mr B was grossly immature (due to various psychological and social factors, but not physiological) and was therefore not capable of understanding fully nor carrying out the essential obligations of marriage. This was evidenced in his behaviour before, at the time and after the marriage and according to the testimony of close friends and family of the couple. The declaration of nullity I think was made on those grounds.

But I think Miss A is hoping that Mr B is now able to show a change in his ability to understand and carry out the meaning and obligations of marriage, thus removing the impediment.In short she’s hoping he can show he’s grown up a lot and certain issues he had before are no longer there.

However, I think Miss A seriously doubts her own ability to live with someone at this time because she has lived alone with her daughter for the last 13 years and has become accustomed to that arrangement. In addition she is unsure whether she wants her daughter (12) to be faced with such a dramatic change just before her formative teen years.

But neither Miss A or Mr B mind marrying, seeing each other as a couple, but living seperately. I think the idea is that when the child is independent, they may try to live together. Then if it doesn’t work, only they need to deal with the fallout of having to separate again, and they will stay like that.

They mean it as LIVING seperately, not BEING seperare if that makes sense. They would still see each other, have a relationship etc. but just live in different places.

Are they crazy to think about starting a marriage like that? Or just wrong in terms of what the sacrament of marriage actually is? I think the problem for them is that because they were married before, they don’t see it as starting a new marriage. They feel they would be *coninuinung *their old marriage.

Should I try to help them come to terms with the fact that the annulment means they were not married before, even though (to this day) they feel they were and still should be? Should I try to help them understand things a little before they go see a priest, or just tell them I have no advice and hand them over like a hot potato? Should they go to their local parish priest or should they go to the priest that (almost) married them? I feel for them i really do, I’d like to offer them something.


#13

A relationship, therefore, and not marriage? Can’t date forever. I remember once thinking it would be a great thing if you could just go on dating, always have the charm of a new relationship, or even have it mature in that way, until you die… blah, not going to work that way. Things can’t stand in one place. A priest during the Advent retreat (well, retreat, more like flocking to the Church until there’s so little room you wouldn’t fall if you tripped :D), said a priest couldn’t keep saying the Mass as he did the first time, nor could a couple always kiss like the first kiss. Things evolve. He said it wouldn’t be good if they always stayed the same. And I agree.

Are they crazy to think about starting a marriage like that?

Maybe not crazy, but not exactly collected, either.

Or just wrong in terms of what the sacrament of marriage actually is?

Possible.

I think the problem for them is that because they were married before, they don’t see it as starting a new marriage. They feel they would be *coninuinung *their old marriage.

Ooops. Ain’t gonna work. It’s not marriage they’d be continuing. Well, I don’t want to be a cold lawyer. It’s life. It’s warm. And it kicks. Sometimes hard. Well, anyway, if the marriage was declared null it means it was null. It means it didn’t exist.

Should I try to help them come to terms with the fact that the annulment means they were not married before, even though (to this day) they feel they were and still should be?

They’d better talk that over with a priest.


#14

You should both discuss this with a priest - and with one another. Without asking questions, I’m assuming you two want to be married to one another but for lack of information here, you either don’t want intimacy with one another despite having had it with others following the annulment, or simply cannot live with your former husband, (conjugally or otherwise???) even though you love one another. Perhaps, you don’t get along, despite your love?

This is surely an issue a priest who is experienced in marital issues should address. It is only with a priest that you can confide your deepest and most personal issues about one another’s feelings - that is urgently important, I’m sure - before the Church would consider granting you this re-marriage. While I’m sure Holy Mother the Church would rejoice that neither had remarried others but rather you are returning to one another - if there are other issues, these decisions must be weighed cautiously and carefully.
God bless you both,


#15

But neither Miss A or Mr B mind marrying, seeing each other as a couple, but living seperately. I think the idea is that when the child is independent, they may try to live together. Then if it doesn’t work, only they need to deal with the fallout of having to separate again, and they will stay like that.

This paragraph right here says to me that they do not actually want marriage. Marriage involves sacrifice and negotiating . They don’t want to do this. Or at least one of them doesn’t .You don’t go into marriage with any idea that it might not work out and no big deal we’ll just separate. You go in with the mindset of we are becoming one . Living separately is just not part of marriage unless there are serious problems. If those problems exist prior then marriage should not be undertaken.
These two should get some type of counseling. Separate and together. Starting with a priest.

If they want to wait until minor children have grown up and are out of the house I can understand that.


#16

**
That’s what I was going to suggest. They have already been apart for 13 years, 6 more isn’t that long. Since it sounds like they are very confused I would err on the side of the child(ren). Concentrate on raising them and don’t expose them to this warped view of marriage during their formative years.

Once the kids are up and out they can concentrate on finding out what kind of relationship they want with each other…

Malia**


#17

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